30 August, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Let's work our way down the food chain of Con stupidity today, shall we? We begin with an apex predator, Sen. Chuck Grassley. How predatory is he? He wanted to pull the plug on Grandma a long time ago (h/t):
It's not preposterous to imagine laws that would try to save money by encouraging the inconvenient elderly to make a timely exit. After all, that's been Republican policy for years.

It was Sen. Grassley himself who rammed the GOP's most astonishing pro-death policy through the Senate in 2001. The estate-tax revision he championed reduces the estate tax to zero next year. But when the law expires at year's end, the tax will jump back up to its previous level of 55 percent. Grassley's exploding offer has an entirely foreseen if unintended consequence: It's going to encourage those whose parents and grandparents are worth anything more than a million bucks to get them dead by midnight on Dec. 31, 2010. This would be a great plot for a P.D. James novel if it weren't an actual piece of legislation.
Where were the Teabaggers with their care and concern for the elderly when that little gem went through Congress, eh? Or was that okay with them because hey, if a few old folks have to die for lower taxes, that's a patriotic sacrifice?

Enquiring minds suffering pounding headaches from all the Teabaggers' silly shouting want to know.

We're not done with Chuck Grassley just yet. Oh, no. Not when he's spouting global warming denialism talking points all over the place:
When not busy lying about healthcare reform and working to cripple Ted Kennedy's legislative legacy, Republican Senator Chuck "Aww-shucks-I'm-not-a-scientist" Grassley is skeptical of anthropogenic climate change, because climate has changed in the past:

[H]istorically, and you can go to the core drillings in the glaciers to get proof of this, that we’ve had decades and decades, and maybe even centuries of periods of time when there’s been a tremendous rise in temperature, and then a tremendous fall in temperature. And all you’ve got to do is look at the little ice age of the mid-last millennia as an example.

You know, natural temperature changes, like the Permian-Triassic extinction, which on the Grassley wingnut calender probably falls on the same warm, sunny day Noah started gathering animals two by two. It's so very tragic that the good senator from Iowa didn't stumble across this heartfelt scientific principle, along with his sudden fiscal responsibility, until years after the frenzied run up to the trillion dollar Iraq War. Afterall, Saddam's imaginary anthrax, like rabies, leprosy, or your friendly flesh-eating bacteria down the street, also occurs naturally. That stuff has been around for 'millennia'. So how could those frisky microbes or any manmade spin-offs possibly pose a threat? Stay with me now as we ride this right-wing logic roller-coaster to the screeching end: it then follows that if the earth is naturally warming, the oceans naturally acidifying, and the ice naturally melting, the only obvious rational solution a carnival barker like Mr. Grassley can deduce is to add to it without a care in the world.

We could have so much fun coming up with other examples following his "reasoning." Such as: a person's weight "naturally" fluctuates, so why watch what you eat? The reader is invited to imagine away.

In the meantime, we'll slide a few notches down the food chain, where we find Gov. Tim Pawlenty trying to outdo his hypocritical compatriots at stimulus hypocrisy:

In an interview yesterday with Bloomberg, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) gave a blistering speech attacking President Obama, slamming the the stimulus and efforts to reform health care. Pawlenty declared it would be “ludicrous” to think that the Recovery Act is “what pivoted” the economy back to stability. He also said any “fair critique” of Democratic health care legislation includes the argument that “death panels” would make life-or-death treatment decisions.

But as Bloomberg later reported, Pawlenty’s criticisms of the stimulus are at odds with both economists and the statements of Pawlenty’s own economic development director, Dan McElroy. McElroy, Pawlenty’s “point man on jobs and economic development,” leads the Department of Employment and Economic Development. He recently went on a 10 city road show titled “Advancing Economic Prosperity” touting the benefits of the stimulus. Speaking about the positive effects of the stimulus, McElroy said:

“Our goal was to put this money to work as quickly as possible. Communities and job-seekers throughout Minnesota are seeing tangible results from this funding.

A longtime adviser to the governor, Pawlenty has praised McElroy as, “one of the smartest, most hard-working change-oriented leaders that has come to state government in modern history.”

I think we're seeing a vivid example of why people don't trust politicians. How the fuck can you trust a man who blasts the stimulus that the rest of his staff are so busy praising? I mean, at least Bobby Jindal's signing his own name to stimulus checks so people don't get confused.


We come now to the bottom of the Con stupidity food chain, where the Teabaggers dwell, and CNN allows them to lie:

But CNN did the real honors Friday, featuring a couple of segments on the tour. The first was a fluff piece about what a cool bus the people on the tour get to ride in. Awesome, dood.

Then Tony Harris did an interview with Mark Williams, the chief spokesman for Our Country Deserves Better PAC, the organization behind the "Tea Party Express." And while Harris did try to ask Williams some skeptical questions, it was a very congenial segment.

Most of all, Williams was able to flatly deceive the CNN audience about their purpose and intent. Harris asked him whether or not the entire thrust of the "tea parties" was to attack President Obama's policies -- a reasonable point, since these "partiers" were nowhere to be found when George W. Bush was busily busting budgets and running up massive deficits in the name of tax cuts for the wealthy.

Harris, though, pretended throughout the segment that they were purely a nonpartisan outfit only angry about overtaxation. Which is a large wagonload of hooey.

The "Our Country Deserves Better" PAC, in fact, was founded in August 2008 -- before the election -- specifically to oppose Barack Obama and his policies.


That's a nice bit of track-covering. Too bad none of these cable anchors are sharp enough to catch on to it.

Alas, sharpness is not a trait prized by media moguls, and so we usually end up with some pretty dull crayons in the MSM box these days. Crayons that are happy to color within the lines provided.

In their defense, the Teabaggers are really clever liars. Why, it takes at least ten seconds with Google to debunk them. And when you get to Glenn Beck defenders, why, those lies might even require three seconds' worth of - gasp - critical thinking:

Now radical right-winger Gary Kreep, head of the United States Justice Foundation, is leaping to Beck’s assistance. He has established DefendGlenn.com, not to justify Beck’s indefensible hate speech, but to spread smears about Color Of Change and Van Jones. On the website, Kreep instructs Glenn Beck fans to tell advertisers that Van Jones “went to prison for inciting the 1992 Rodney King riots in L.A.”:

Tell them CoC’s founder went to prison for inciting the 1992 L.A. Riots, and accused President Bush of giving troops orders to shoot black people after Hurricane Katrina.

In reality, Van Jones was a legal observer in San Francisco, not Los Angeles, during a non-violent rally that took place after, not before the riots. Jones and hundreds of others were seized in a mass arrest. He was released within a few hours, all charges were dropped, and “the City of San Francisco ultimately compensated him financially for his unjust arrest.”

Jones also has never “accused President Bush of giving troops orders to shoot black people after Hurricane Katrina,” as the DefendGlenn site claims. Kreep’s inflammatory lie has no factual basis whatsoever.

Kreep’s unhinged attacks come as no surprise, however. He is one of the leaders of the “birther” movement, claiming that President Obama is not a citizen of the United States.

Bet you never saw that one coming.

1 comment:

Woozle said...

Since the subject of riots has come up -- specifically, assigning liberals the blame for the Rodney King riots -- I was reminded to ask Mike the Progressive Conservative a question.

In reference to this quote:
"...if we assign the riots of the 1960's, plus the LA riots, to liberals... not to mention various WTO protests, etc... I'd say liberal-lead riots are responsible for more deaths than conservative-lead riots."

First, in what sense were the following riots specifically liberal?:
* riots of the 1960s (not sure which ones we're referring to, so be as specific as possible)
* the LA riots
* the Rodney King riots
* the WTO riots (my impression was that globalization has at times been at least as much of an issue on the Right -- "keep American jobs at home", etc. -- as on the left -- "Fair Trade" etc.)

Second, why did you even bring up the WTO riots, when -- as far as I can tell -- very little damage was done, and the worst of it was the response by the police (typically viewed as being an agent of the Right)?


Maybe I should start posting these occasional comments on his blog instead of here, since he seems to not be "following" ETEV anymore. I've kinda sworn off hanging out in conservative blogs until my life is more sane (don't need their additional insanity), but I could make an exception if it seemed worthwhile.